It’s a little emotionally overwhelming to think of how overwhelmed I was when I first started my journey as a photographer. I was a young mother, ashamed that I couldn’t make end’s meet without applying for food stamps. I was determined to find a way to get off as soon as possible, but how? Daycare is ridiculously expensive and it made more sense for me to stay home. I did odd jobs, ironing, cleaning, helping my new husband with his side jobs, mowing lawns, and even ran a small childcare service out of the house for a small amount of time. My first husband was already a talented photographer when we met in high school, but our hometown’s art industry was already a saturated market so he only did it on the side. Soon after our first child was born, I helped Phillip created a photography business and assisted him as a means to avoid having to pay a second shooter or assistant. Photography allowed me to be a work from home mother, being there every day for my children, even while going through a painful divorce. I was able to homeschool my children, go to college all while continuing to work my business. I found myself becoming depressed and withdrawn, an anxious version of the woman I used to be, but running my business forced me to continue to be social and active in the community.
I met a fantastic friend through photography and that friend introduced me to an incredible man at a photographer’s meet up. I married him 2 years later.
Last year, I grew tired of running a business by myself, tired of working 80 hours to avoid working 40. I struggled to find a work/home life balance, which caused months of growing pains. Luckily, my hubby is kind of a smart guy, so we started attending counseling sessions to learn how to balance the many different time constraints on our relationship and how communicate more effectively with one another. With a few small tweeks, I saw a 300x increase in profits in less than 6 months time. I am working less and enjoying my family more because of how I’ve streamlined the company.
In four months, I’m becoming a first time homebuyer, with money in the savings. In addition to that excitement, another goal is being realized; I’m starting my journey as a traveling photographer. For years I’ve talked about all the beautiful places I want to capture. Finally setting aside dates and make those travel plans a reality is almost surreal.
It wouldn’t be possible without dedication and the encouragement and support I get from the love of my life, who tells me I can accomplish anything… with a proper plan.
The point of sharing all of this is to get across that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Stressing about things that are beyond your immediate control is an absolute waste of your energy. When there doesn’t seem to be a way around an impossible situation, get creative. Find your tribe, surround yourself with a team of people who think different than you, and if you can’t find a group of people who believe in you, f*ck it, let me know and I’ll be there! You can do whatever you set your mind to… You’ve got this!